Cover: Xenophon’s Retreat: Greece, Persia, and the End of the Golden Age, from Harvard University PressCover: Xenophon’s Retreat in PAPERBACK

Xenophon’s Retreat

Greece, Persia, and the End of the Golden Age

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$26.00 • £20.95 • €23.50

ISBN 9780674030732

Publication Date: 02/28/2009

Trade

272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

26 halftones, 3 maps

Belknap Press

World rights except United Kingdom & Commonwealth

Mr. Waterfield, unlike his ancient source, tells the story briskly and vividly. Reading his account of the march is like hearing a record that used to sound like sludge finally set to the right rpm. But Mr. Waterfield…goes easy on his favored Greeks, whom he views as trying to live virtuously in a world that has made it impossible, forgetting somehow that mercenaries like Xenophon’s men were the ones who made it impossible. Xenophon had his chance to live virtuously. He had been loosely associated with Socrates and so knew the basic outline of the virtuous life. But Xenophon grew bored and headed east—to present-day Iraq, which has never been a good place to go if you’re bored or looking to live virtuously.—Brendan Boyle, The New York Sun

In Xenophon’s Retreat, a superb book, Waterfield starts with the decisive battle, then works backward and forward. His accounts of warfare in the 4th century B.C. raise the hair and turn the stomach. He explores the staggering logistics of moving thousands of men, slaves, concubines and animals, tons of supplies, armor and weapons, over alien territories. His hunches are reasonable and his storytelling gripping.—John Timpane, The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Anabasis is a good place to begin understanding the Greek and thus Western way of inventing the East and defining ourselves through contrast, and sometimes conflict, with it. Waterfield’s book is a good place to begin understanding the Anabasis. On the armature of Xenophon’s narrative Waterfield sculpts a readable, accurate recounting of the Greek march up-country and the retreat after Cunaxa… I wish I had known this book when I read the Anabasis with my students in the fall of 2006. When I read it again in 2007, my students will learn much from Waterfield’s accessible introduction.—Lee T. Pearcy, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

An excellent book. Robin Waterfield writes very well, in a style that is accessible and sophisticated. We are taken into an adrenaline-filled hoplite battle, we discover that owning horses in Xenophon’s day was a mark of the super-rich like owning a Ferrari today, we even back away from the bad breath of ancient slaves, and as we view the sea from the Pontic mountains we understand why ‘the sea’ was virtually an ancient Greek way of saying ‘home.’—Barry Strauss, Cornell University, author of The Trojan War: A New History

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World, by Samuel Zipp, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Samuel Zipp, author of The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World

Debates about what should be America’s role in the world are not new—neither is the slogan “America First.” So as the presidential election nears, we spoke with Samuel Zipp, whose book, The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World, is a dramatic account of the former Republican presidential nominee’s worldwide plane trip